How to combat winter weather in the dorms

Photo courtesy of Blake Israel

Winter is in full swing, and Tech’s campus has been bombarded by freezing temperatures and pouring rain. The weather causes many students to retreat to the safety of their dorm rooms  to stay warm and dry. Here are some tips to keep warm, stay entertained and use dorm space best during this snowy season.

Turn up the heat

The first thing you can do if it gets cold in your dorm room is turn up that heat. The dorm heaters can be surprisingly effective at warming up your room. If you can increase the thermostat temperature, don’t be afraid to crank it until you are cozy. 

Dorm heaters are also great for heating other things besides your room. If you want to give your clothes a fresh-out-of-the-drier feel or a little extra heating boost, you can leave your underlayers or pajamas by the heater before you use them so they are toasty before you are even in them.

Hot drinks and snacks

Even if you are in your room most of the time, staying warm may be challenging, and the dining hall may feel miles away. Knock out two birds with one stone by keeping warm snacks and drinks in your dorm room. 

Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are great tools to warm and keep you awake while studying in your room. If you cannot access a kettle, stove or coffee machine, you can always microwave your water to warm it up. Additionally, snacks like popcorn, ramen and soup keep you warm and hold you over until your next meal.

Make your bed

If you are busy with coursework, clubs and other extracurricular activities, it may seem like a waste of time to make your bed every day, but making your bed in the right way is a great strategy to keep you warm at night. Tucking in your sheets on the sides and end of your bed prevents heat from escaping out the sides as you sleep.

Consider moving any blankets you layer on top of your comforter between your sheets and the comforter. The blanket may look nice layered on top of your comforter, but it does not do much to keep you warm. Moving the blankets to the middle layer gets that insulation closer to your body, where it can be most effective. Plus, this lets you add a layer to the bed by placing even more blankets above the comforter if you need it in the
middle of the night.

Getting to sleep

If your room is particularly chilly, staying warm can be hard when trying to go to sleep. 

A warm comforter on top of your sheets can be a good idea to keep your body heat from escaping. A heavy blanket or several lighter ones can also keep heat from escaping to other parts of your room. 

Wearing cozy pajamas can also help you stay warm when sleeping or lounging. 

If you live in a traditional-style dorm, ensure you have a pair of slippers by the door if you need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. 

Wearing fuzzy socks to sleep can prevent your feet from getting too cold in the middle of the night, especially if you sleep with your legs extended away from the rest of your body.

Room decor

There are also a lot of things you can do to your room to keep it feeling warmer and cozy.

If your windows are drafty and let in a lot of air, consider hanging up curtains to cover the whole window and keep heat from leaving through the window. 

Additionally, if you find the floor too cold, add a comfy rug to keep your feet warm. 

If you are short on storage space, adding a hook or hanger to your door can also be helpful to hang coats or jackets. 

Hanging your coats and jackets has the added benefit of giving them a chance to dry if returning from a wet winter day.

If you find your room too gloomy while the days are shorter and the skies are overcast, consider purchasing some warm string lights to hang around the room. Bright lighting is a great way to cheer up the atmosphere of the room as a whole.

Even though they may not actually add any heat, they will make it feel cozier.